Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, two of the biggest pop stars of all time join forces for an epic remix.
There was something incredibly magical about Sir Elton John‘s friendship and creative partnership with songwriter Bernie Taupin. Taupin, for anyone unfamiliar, is responsible for the lyrics to most of John’s most beloved songs: “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” “Daniel,” and, of course, “Tiny Dancer” are all on that list.
Many of Elton John’s songs have become the modern equivalent of songbook standards, persisting in relevance and popularity to this day. “Hold Me Closer,” an interpolation of the beloved “Tiny Dancer,” sees John join forces with another of the biggest pop stars of all time. It’s a partnership that makes more and more sense the longer you think about it — something Elton John and Britney Spears have in common is a spirit of persistence, finding joy in moments of community and the togetherness that music can provide.
“Hold Me Closer” strikes as an instant-classic because, in the literal sense, it already is — we all know the melody and the key lyrics by heart, but the new contributions from Spears provide a present-day spin that gives a new life to the original tune. John is no stranger to collaborations — “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” still hits — and his more recent work with Dua Lipa (“Cold Heart”) or onstage appearances with Miley Cyrus and Sara Bareilles are reminders of his openness to staging new, imaginative versions of songs from his massive discography.
“Hold Me Closer” is a lovely way to welcome Britney Spears back to our music libraries. John shared that he reached out to Spears directly to chat about collaborating on the track after hearing of her love for the original 1971 song, and the result is as dreamy and delightful as one might’ve hoped.
— Mary Siroky